I am not particularly nimble when it comes to metadata. I’ve used Dublin Core, MODS, and METS, but in the context of homework. I have the resources tagged on my computer, but, as with many things, it seems like it is something that if you don’t use it you lose it type of knowledge. For the first assignment it was essential to have the different resource tabs up, as well as the information I was inputting, as well as what other images I had entered prior-to.
I thought that Doctorow’s article was especially enlightening. I tend to get sucked into the best-case scenario ivory-tower enthusiastic approach – that everyone will both agree on metadata that all cataloged items will be universally searchable. Doctorow’s article was a reality check – we have to take into consideration all the different wrenches human logic can throw into the mix. A case that hits this home for me is the categorizing of funding programs within my work: we utilize a grants management database that can perform basic metadata searches. One of those searches is for the program-type: education, interfaith, children in families, etc. Documents are saved under those names; HOWEVER, problems arise when people save interfaith as “interreligious” or children in families as “CIF”. Even though we have a set standard of metadata agreed upon as a department, depending on either the time of year, the person who’s entering the metadata, or other outside factors, we’ll end up with a variety of metadata for the same types of information. We are actually working now to install a drop-down feature in our database. Instead of having someone who is able to physically type (and potentially incorrectly enter) the metadata, it will hopefully be foolproof. Problems of course arise when there is something that is out of the ordinary/difficult to categorize, but overall I think that this will solve our need.
Overall I really liked using Omeka. It was very helpful having the resources necessary linked on the assignment, but truth be told, if I didn’t have SLIS as a background I’m not sure I would take the time/energy to hunt down the Dublin Core etc. approved metadata.